Friday, May 30, 2008

Review and Philly Week

Sorry for the lack of posting in the last 10 days but it has been hell keeping up with work, training, racing, marriage and a two and a half year old. After my last post I did a few NRC criteriums including Willmington, Kelly Cup and Sommerville. Sometimes I think I'm a good crit rider (usually on a climb) and sometimes I think I'm a good climber (usually in a crit). I'm starting to think that I really do suck at both. Willmington would have been a disaster if it wasn't for Scott Zwizanski winning. And it was a beautiful win. He gets into a break of 12 guys with 4 Colavita guys and with two laps to go slips away and wins it.
Now it wasn't pretty since Scottie you may remember pedals with a goofy foot but man was it special. My race sucked. I was in oxygen deprivation from the first lap (need to remember to warm up properly) after driving 3 hours to get there and once the break stuck and I saw the race was done I pulled the plug. Not a good idea since I should have finished and tried to get some NRC points for the team.

Kelly Cup went better. Well sort of. I was a little pissed at how Wilmington went so I drove to Baltimore the night before. Made sure I did an hour of spinning in the morning and an OK warm up. My legs were great in the race. I felt good and nothing was getting away without me trying to be in it. With about 12 laps to go a dangerous move goes up the road and I bridge up with a few guys but then the counter went and I had nothing in the thank to be in there. So I start setting up the sprint for Sven when with two laps to go as were hitting the front somebody goes down and I can't avoid him since I have barriers to my left and a field to my right. I t bone the guy break my frame and by the time I get up I'm the only guy left behind. Obviously I was a little pissed and ended up borrowing a bike from SRAM so that I could get to my car. Damm it. I really wanted to do well at Kelly.

Sommerville is a special race for me since it was my first race in the US back in 1987 and my first win in the US in the 9-11 category. I still remember beating Yanni Felman who at the time was the hot kid on the block until I showed up that is. I stuck on his wheel the whole race not taking one pull and then I beat him in the sprint. I was under orders from my father not to pull. After that for a few years Yanni and I would end up alone in each race and I would either drop him or out sprint him. Poor guy. Anyways. Sommerville is a great race. Fast, easy and usually a sprint so I wanted to make sure that we were in good shape until the end and then see if I can sneak into the Colavita train with Sven since I was pretty sure Haedo was the guy to beat. I spun my legs the entire day in an easy gear and was pretty fresh in the end. But so were a lot of people and there were way too many people trying to jockey for position that had no business being there. It was crash mania. There must have been 5 crashes in the last lap. I managed to avoid them all but Sven and Scottie weren't so lucky and they both went down hard. I managed to stay upright and was on the Colavita train
until the last lap when I got boxed out and just rolled accross the line in 23rd place.

The last crit I did was also the hardest. The Ricola Twilight Criterium is a local race in Baskin Ridge that usually gets a great field because of a $10,000 prize list. Last year I lasted 22 minutes and average 330 Watts for those 22 minutes. That's real Watts not normalized power folks. I'm sure that's nothing for a lot of guys but for me its a lot. This year again I suffered like a dog and tought many times I was going to get dropped but I survived and finished 16th. The average power for the same 22 minutes was 300 Watts this year but the speed was the same so I am either a lot leaner or getting more efficient.

This weekend I have the CSC classic another NRC race in Arlington, VA. Its the first time that I do a 100 Km criterium since I raced in Europe and its suppose to be a hard one so I am hoping to have good legs for it. Especially since my college roommate will be there with his family and the last time he watched me race at Kelly I went down. That was also the first time he watched me race. So I'm hoping not to go down this time. Then it's Philly week and that will be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to doing the Allentown race in front of the Rodale folks as well as Philly itself since the last time I did it was 1995. I've been preparing hard for these races and am hoping to be on good days so that I can help the team.